Magazine: Lakeland-Winter Haven ranks first in Florida in per-capita charitable giving … Editorial: Lakeland smart to start small on gigabit … Review: Lakeland Community Theatre’s “Little Shop of Horrors” yields quirky, creepy, quality theater … Mayor: Nominate citizens who contribute … State’s largest Rack Room Shoes opening at mall … Charity festival lets you sample homebrew beers … Bucs sign ex-LHS linebacker Qyayshawn Nealy.
- A program that teaches on-the-job skills to youths ages 18-24 is expanding beyond the summer months and will take applications next week.
- Rick Lilyquist, Lakeland’s public works director for 17 years, is leaving for a similar job in Osceola County.
- Local philanthropists will be honored this morning by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. (No link yet.) Watch for live-tweeting from lkldnow.com.
- The Florida Presbyterian Homes moved a 90-year-old bungalow to a new location as it cleared land for its Dixieland expansion.
- The race for a Lakeland City Commission seat — the only race on tomorrow’s ballot — pits three candidates: “one pitching his record, another his ideas and the third his common sense.”
- Despite a reliance on advanced robotics, employment at Amazon’s million-square-foot fulfillment center in Lakeland is up from 500 to 800 and will grow for the holidays. Story | Gallery
- Five seasoned musicians come together in Wilshire to explore their Americana roots.
- Achievement Academy (formerly known as United Cerebral Palsy and Child Development Center) celebrates 60 years of serving children with disabilities.
- A witness says the accident that killed an FSC swimmer was unavoidable, and police are looking for information on where the student was earlier that evening.
- Business leaders got a look at the expanded Southern Wine & Spirits, and LEDC leader Steve Scruggs updated them on Catapult 2.0 plans. Story | Gallery
- Editorial: Partisan groups should open up forums in nonpartisan races, and Lakeland should scrap its toothless campaign ordinance.
- Both sides in a forum on the future of city government agreed there are problems at City Hall, but they differed on the solution.
- The Chamber of Commerce board chair praises City Hall for an investment decision and urges the “interim” be removed from Tony Delgado’s title.
- As Halloween approaches, Florida Dance Theatre premieres a full-length Dracula ballet by its artistic director on Saturday and holds a masquerade fundraiser tonight.
Tigers: A new city contract with Bill Tinsley reduces his pay and duties in working with the Detroit Tigers to complete renovations at Tigertown.
Schools: Teachers at Southwest Middle School are the first to get trauma packs under a Rotary program to bring emergency equipment into classrooms.
Finance: City government gets a guaranteed 7.25 percent return by investing a $15 million windfall as a loan to the pension fund.
Symphony: Guest soloist Andy Liu pays tribute to mentor Robert MacDonald at tonight’s ISO concert.